News Columns & Blogs

Two weekend robberies in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM -- Two robbers coerced their way into a mobile home, then brandished a gun and took the occupant's wallet Friday night, Aug. 16, according to police.

The owner of the home, in the 700 block of Sterling Drive, had briefly left his 57-year-old friend at the property at 8 p.m. when two men came knocking on the door, said Police Sgt. Shawn Aiumu. They'd arrived in a white car, described as "Buick-style," driven by a woman with a ponytail. They claimed they knew the owner so it was OK, they said, for them to come in.

But after entering, one of the men -- later identified as Agustin Rodriguez, 29 -- flashed a pistol and demanded the victim's wallet and phone, Aiumu said. Police don't believe Rodriguez aimed the gun at the victim. They fled east on Sterling with the wallet, cash and a phone.

A police dog tracked a scent to the nearby Eliza Avenue but couldn't find the suspects. So the K-9 unit (a cop and a dog) lingered in the area for about an hour, and eventually the white car showed up again. Police arrested Rodriguez; Mercury Allen Morris, 23; and the alleged driver, Clarissa Judith Miranda, 20.

After the victim confirmed those were the right suspects, all three were booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery.

Police recovered the gun. It looked like a real pistol, Aiumu said, but it shoots BBs.


BELLINGHAM -- An intoxicated man reported being robbed by two men early Saturday, Aug. 17, somewhere between the Horseshoe Cafe and the jail, 311 Grand Ave.

Police responded to an area near the jail after 3 a.m. when a 52-year-old man reported he'd been pushed down in an alley and his wallet had been stolen.

One suspect -- a white man in his mid-30s with black hair, a light shirt and dark pants -- had pushed him down. The other man -- in his late 20s, about 6-feet tall, with light brown hair -- seemed reluctant to participate in the crime, the man told police.

Officers noted the victim appeared very intoxicated. He couldn't recall exactly where he'd been assaulted. He believed he'd seen the suspects earlier at the Horseshoe Cafe. 

Anyone with tips can contact Bellingham police at 360-778-8800. For urgent tips after hours, call 911.